Rieux (dr_rieux) wrote,

P.Z. Myers Sued; I'm Spartacus!

As these sites, among many others, have announced, my favorite blogger, P.Z. Myers, has been sued by a rich, wannabe-biologist kook because P.Z. posted negative reviews regarding (two versions of) a bad, pseudoscientific book written by said kook.

The gory details of the suit are available at the links above, but the nub of it is that the kook alleges that P.Z.'s publication of a single phrase--calling the kook "a classic crackpot"--has inflicted damages to the kook in the amount of fifteen million dollars.

The specter of rich jerks suing the tar out of any blogger who dares to criticize them or their work (written or otherwise) is extremely frightening--it poses a threat of what free-speech advocates call "a chilling effect" on free expression. Even when P.Z. and SEED magazine (his employer and co-defendant) win this suit, there's the risk that that chill will remain.

So I'd like to propose that as many of us as possible in the blogosphere stand up to this attempt at intimidation. (It would at least be interesting to see if the kook has the chutzpah to sue all of us.)

To get the ball rolling:

For the reasons P.Z. Myers has set forth, Stuart Pivar is a classic crackpot.
Who's with me!?!

8/29/07 update: The kook has dropped the lawsuit; he's been (voluntarily) Expelled from court. Huzzah!

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